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A Heartbreaking Decision

June Donohue - Columnist
Posted 2/25/21

Less than a month ago I had to say goodbye to my beloved cat, TJ. He had a stroke which paralyzed his hind quarters and he had to be euthanized. He also was in a lot of pain due to blood clots that …

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A Heartbreaking Decision

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Less than a month ago I had to say goodbye to my beloved cat, TJ. He had a stroke which paralyzed his hind quarters and he had to be euthanized. He also was in a lot of pain due to blood clots that had traveled to that area.

I called my son, Michael who rushed here from Nyack. I placed him in his carrier before Michael got here. He kept trying to walk. It was so tragic. We took him to an emergency pet hospital in Paramus at the recommendation of our regular vet in Maywood.

We were offered a room where we could say goodbye to him but I couldn't handle that so Mike was there with him at the end. Mike had taken him to vets before without me so I don't feel TJ was looking for me.

He had had a shot for the pain and a tranquilizer so he wasn't suffering when Michael was there. When Mike came to the car where I was waiting he told me about TJ gazing directly into his eyes. I told him that he did that with me all the time and he said he had never experienced that before.

They gave us a plastic marker with his paw print and name on it as we chose to bury him next to our other cat, Al Capone, in our backyard.

Many friends and family have asked me if I'd be getting another cat. TJ was so beautiful and fun and such a comfortable companion. My neighbor Kris, who had given me the cat, and I had been crying over his loss for many weeks. I received sympathy cards from the Maywood vet and also from Blue Pearl emergency and Pet Hospital with hand written notes.

I have decided to get another cat and have been looking at pictures of some posted online from various shelters.

At first I decided to get a kitten but then realized a kitten would require too much care. Now I'm looking at cats that are one or two years old. The reason I don't want an older cat is because I want the cat to outlive me. That way I won't have to go through the pain of losing it. A friend has agreed to take the cat when and if I'm no longer able to care for it.

For the first time I will be keeping a cat inside. My last two cats stayed on the block when outside but I live near a busy street and can't rely on that. I have been filling out applications that are required and answering so many questions it's like adopting a child. One shelter even requires a home visit.

The cats get altered, get a distemper shot, get tested for feline leukemia and even cats that are intended to be kept inside get a chip and a rabies shot in case they do get out. Potential owners are charged a fee of about $120 for all of this.

There are many cats up for adoption so it is hard to choose just one. I will keep you posted about the new addition to my family.

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